#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: 2011-05-29

Friday, June 3, 2011

Roko Ului Mara: Video Statement 5 ... Call for an end to the PER and launch of his own Roadmap and 'Thumbs up for democracy' campaign.

Media Statement No. 5
Lt. Col. Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara

“Thumbs up for Democracy”

Fellow Citizens of Fiji
Today I will talk about the future of our beloved Fiji. I will start the discussion about the Fiji that the people want and deserve and not the hated military junta thrust upon them by Khayum and his hand puppet, Bainimarama.

Firstly I call upon Khayum and Bainimarama to end the Public Emergency Regulation (PER). If they are doing good a job, as they say, they have nothing to fear. The papers will sing their praises and the public will only march in support of the illegal military junta. Why then are they too scared to remove PER? The military junta won’t remove PER because they know without it they would be driven from power by the voices of the people.

I have received so much support from both inside and outside Fiji, I know that the time is right for Khayum and his puppet to step down. Frank you were my commanding officer once. Now I am free to say these words. “You have been in charge for nearly 5 years, You talk about following a roadmap to true democracy in Fiji. Once again you are lost because Fiji is not heading anywhere for democracy because it is already a dictatorship. Instead of taking the country forward, the only direction you have lead Fiji is backwards. Now it is my duty to ask you to step aside and let the people of Fiji pick the Prime Minister they want. "

Over the coming weeks, I will travel the region to discuss with the Pacific leaders the real situation in Fiji and I will discuss the Roadmap on how we will return Fiji to democracy in the shortest time. Unlike your Roadmaps, it will be published within the next 2 weeks and not remain a mystery to the people years after being announced.

I have already started to talk to people who share my cause both inside and outside Fiji. Their support has been overwhelming and many are positively looking at their own contribution to bringing about democracy in Fiji.

I have also been touched by the emails, phone calls, and comments on the Internet. Thank you it means a lot to me that so many people say I am doing the right thing. Many of you are putting your faith in me to bring about the end of this military junta. I will not let you down.

Fellow Citizens Who Want Democracy, I want to ask you all to do one small thing for me. Whenever you meet your friends, your family and your colleagues I want you to give a “thumbs up for Democracy”. You will be doing nothing illegal you cannot be arrested by the police; you cannot be taken in by the military. But everywhere you go, smile at the people you meet in particular soldiers and policemen and give them the thumbs up, you will be moving Fiji ever closer to democracy.

Finally to the illegal government spokeswoman, as an Australian we welcome you back to our beloved country, having returned from five months of leave paid for by the taxpayers of my country it is about time you earned the money and started speaking the truth because Australia is certainly one of the best democratic countries in the world where it symbolizes freedom of individuals in particular freedom of speech, I now challenge you to convince the Junta to lift media censorship immediately. Otherwise we the citizens of Fiji would rather not hear nor see you misinforming us in the future. 

Editor's Note: The email below was sent to Coupfourpointfive a short time ago by Mara. 
Dear Coup 4.5

I can see that Sharon and her Min Info boys and girls had a bit of a lie in this morning. And they have only just started reacting to my latest statement. There were no negative comments until about 10.00 am this morning.
I want to make the following clear:
1) I am against coups. The 2006 coup has achieved none of its intended goal. In fact, it has done the opposite and turned Fiji into a dictatorship. As I have said before, I regret my part in the 2006 Coup.
2) I will return to Fiji and I will answer to the people for my part in the 2006 Coup.
3) I have no plans to be part of the caretaker Government that will replace Bainimarama and Khaiyum.
Roko Ului

Media Statement No. 5 (Fijian)
Message to the Nation
Lt. Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara  “Thumbs up for Democracy - Fijian”

Kemuni na Turaga, Marama Bale
Kemuni nai Talatala ni lotu
Vei kemuni na turaga na marama na lewe ni vanua o Viti.  

Au gadreva meu na vosa nikua baleta na dua na Viti vou, se vanua eda gadreva kece meda taukena, ka sega ni veiliutaki veilecayaki erau mai vunautaka tiko vakaukauwa o Khayum kei Bainimarama me noda na lewe ni vanua.
Taumada, au via vakaraitaka yani vei rau o Khayum kei Bainimarama me rau sa bokoca na lawa ni leqa tubu koso raraba se Public Emergency Regulation (PER). Kevaka erau cakacaka tiko vakadodonu, erau sega dodonu me rau rere. Ke a vinaka tu na veiqaravi ni nodrau veiliutaki, ena vakaraitaki ena nodra na marau na lewe ni vanua ka ra na tayabe ena veitokoni vei rau. Na cava beka erau rerevaka tiko kina na bokoci ni lawa ni leqa tubu koso raraba se Public Emergency Regulation (PER)? Erau kila vinaka tu, kevaka e bokoci na lawa ni leqa tubu koso raraba se Public Emergency Regulation (PER) era na tucake na lewe ni vanua ka kudruvaka na veiliutaki vakaivalu ka vakakina ena nodra vinakata me vakatikitiki tani ko Bainimarama kei Khayum.
Au sa mai ciqoma na nodra veitokoni na lewe I Viti kei ira mai na vanua tani. Sa kena gauna vinaka oqo me rau sa cegu o Khayum kei Bainimarama. Comd kemuni a noqu liuliu tu ena dua na gauna, io oqo au sa galala mai ena ruku ni nomu vakatulewa. Au sana via vakaraitaka yani eke edua nai tukutuku mo rogoca ka kila.
“Tekivu ena nomu mai veiliutaki ena lima na yabaki sa oti e gusugusumu voli nai tuvatuva se roadmap mo kauti Viti ena veidigidigi. E kani rarawa meu tukuna ni ko sa mai butu sevata na nomu I lakolako ka sa mai veilecayaki tu kina na nomu veikau kina dua na Matanitu gagala. Na veivakasaurarataki ni nomu veiliutaki esa I vakadinadina ni ko sa tiko ena dua na vakasama tani.
Sa mai wewe wale tuga ni gusumu ni ko sa kauti Viti tiko ki liu ka ni o sega tiko ni ko vakila, ni da sa suka tale tiko I muri.  Sa noqu I tavi meu sa tukuna vei iko eke, mo sa tu vakatikitiki ka me rawa ni soli na galala vei ira na lewe ni vanua mera digitaka na nodra I liuliu vou vaka Matanitu.
Au sa bolei iko tale ga mo vakaduria tale na BLV e na kena gauna totolo duadua ka suka na Koniferedi ni Lotu Wesele kina na kena I tuvatuva makawa. Kena sega ni o vakayacora rawa e rua na ka bibi oqo o sa vakadeitaka vei keimami nai taukei, ni sega ni lomamu dina mo kauti keda kina dua na viti vinaka ka sa nomui naki vuni ka vadi duka tale me vakamalumalumu taki, noda bula raraba nai taukei ena noda vanua solia vei keda na noda kalou me da bula veicurumaki kina kei ira na duikaikai.”
Ena vica na macawa mai qo, au sa na veisiko wavoki tiko ena vei vanua ena loma ni pasifika, meu laki veitalanoa kei ira na veiliuliu ni Matanitu ka vakaraitaka talega vei ira na i tuvaki dina kei Viti ena gauna oqo. Keimani sana veitalanoataka tale ga kina, e dua nai tuvatuva vou kei Viti ena kena vakasukai lesu tale na veiliutaki vakamatanitu vei ira na lewe ni vanua ena kena gauna totolo duadua.
E na rua na macawa mai oqo e sana mai tabaki kina nai tuvatuva vou oqo se Roadmap, ka sega ni vaka na nomu tuvatuva ka sa mai veisau vakarua ni oti nomu a kovei na matanitu e 2006, ka vakavuna tu qo na nodra loma tarotarotaka na lewe ni vanua ni oti na kena kacivaki.
Au sa mai marautaka vakalevu na nodra veitokoni e levu na wekada mai Viti ka vakakina mai vanua tani kara duavata tu kei na noqu nanuma. Era sa vakadeitaka tu na nodra veitokoni kei na nodra na vakaitavi me kau lesu tale ko Viti ena veidigidigi vaka lewe ni vanua.
Au sa mai vaka yaloqaqataki vakalevu ena vei talanoa ena monalivaliva, talevoni kei na levu ni vola ni veitokoni e gole tiko mai ena internet. Vinaka valevu sara na nomuni veitokoni, e sa mai vakadeitaka sara vakalevu na cakacaka esa mai qaravi tiko e ke. Au kila ni sa tiko na nomuni veivakabauti vei au meu tinia na cicivaki ni veiliutaki nei Bainimarama kei Khayum. Au na sega ni vakayalolailaitaki kemuni ena nomuni vakanuinui vakatabakidua tiko mai.
Vei keda na veiwekani ni vanua lomani o Viti ka da duavata tiko e na kena vakadeitaki tale na veiliutaki sautu ena noda vanua. Au sa kerei kemuni me sa noda I vakatakilakila na kena dau laveti na noda qaqalo levu se dovidovi ni kakana vei ira eda sotova se “Thumbs up for Democracy”. E da na sega ni vesu se vakatarogi mai vei ira na Ovisa kei na Mataivalu. Na noda I vakatakilakila oqo se “Thumbs up for Democracy” e da na dau veivakananumi tiko kina, ni sa voleka tikoga mai na gauna me sana cava kina na veiliutaki vakailoa oqo.

God Bless Fiji
Me vakalougataki taki Viti tiko na Kalou
Thank You
Vinaka Sa’ka vakalevu

Fiji's New Methodist Church leader gagged because of Lau connections

It seems Frank Bainimarama is now afraid of the very thing he helped create - the New Methodist Church, which he used to break the stronghold of the Methodist Church.

The regime has banned any public broadcast messages from the New Methodist Church run by Reverend Atu Vulaono, the brother of former police commissioner, Esala Teleni. 

Vulaono has reportedly been told not to release any more of his preachings in any media form because Bainimarama's security advisors feel his messages are inciting people, because he's from Lau.

Lau is refusing to be bullied by Bainimarama's illegal government but the latter is taking no risks and is moving to quell what it sees as any rebellion or potential for anyone to speak against him.

Readers will remember the New Methodist movement came to the fore when Bainimarama's illegal goverment tried to crush the Methodist Church, which was seen by the dictator as his biggest enemy in when he seized power in 2006.

The new Methodist Church, which got its hooks into the police force (remember the Anti-Crime Christian Crusade?) thanks to Esala, is believed to have more than 15,000 youth members and over 40,000 members in Fiji. 

Coupfourpointfive has also been told the military will be stopping the New Methodist open preaching at the Sunday Suva Market.

'IRB old farts have lost the plot over Fiji'

Executive Mike Miller is just too chummy with Frank Bainimarama's illegal regime! By TV3 journalist, Patrick Gower

Here's a question for International Rugby Board - what part of "Military Dictatorship" don't you understand?

The "Old Farts" at the IRB need to back right off, right now, about Fiji. They have been pressuring the New Zealand Government to relax the travel sanctions so players linked to Commodore Frank Bainimarama's regime can come. What part of "New Zealand is a sovereign nation" don't they understand?

The IRB has taken sides with Fiji big time on this. The New Zealand Government has rightly said no. But with just under 100 days to go to kick-off still IRB chief executive Mike Miller is down here and thinks he can persuade us otherwise. 

The IRB hierarchy obviously has a soft spot for a undemocratic military despot. And yes, they probably think we will roll over with Fiji like we have with a lot of other stuff.

We got down on our knees and licked the IRB's boots to bring the Cup here. We are getting owned by the IRB all over the shop - even passing laws that stop fundraising sausage sizzles outside games so the IRB can make all the cash.

So that's why it has to stop with the IRB now trying to influence our foreign policy. The arrogance of the IRB on this is disgraceful. The IRB is trying to act as friend of the rugby nations, and lobby for Fiji which says its team will be weakened if it can't select players with military links.

The hypocrisy of the IRB on this is quite frankly breathtaking. If the IRB wanted to help the developing Pacific rugby nations Fiji, Samoa and Tonga it could relax the ridiculous eligibility laws so international players who have done their time with one nation could turn out for the Islands of their heritage in later years.

I'm talking about the likes of Jerry Collins and Tana Umaga. The IRB doesn't want a bar of this - another disgrace that is holding up the development of the game.

So instead it takes up the case of Fiji wanting the travel ban lifted.
Now Fiji isn't playing fair on this either. Lifting the travel sanction ban might not just apply to players, but to supporters and administrators too. That could mean the Fiji Rugby Union Chairman Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga.

Yes, that's "Colonel" Tikoitoga - the commander of the Fijian Army land forces. He's known as Frank Bainimarama's right-hand man. Fiji won't even release the names of the players it's worried about. If it did that, named say five players, stated their links to the military and offered mitigating factors, then I'm sure New Zealand would consider individual exemptions if the cases were strong.

But Fiji is playing a game here. It's trying to use rugby as a wedge to lend legitimacy to the military regime. As a rugby fan I find that wrong. And I can't believe the IRB is going along with it.

The calls this week for Fiji to boycott  must also be dismissed. The sanctions we have against Fiji are not overly severe. The team is still allowed to come here for the World Cup after all - that's never been in doubt. They don't really have the grounds to boycott - they are getting a fair suck of the sav.

A boycott would achieve nothing but pain for Fijians and rugby fans - I hope it's a hollow threat. Because the political reality is this: New Zealand cannot back down on the rather lenient sanctions without making a mockery of itself. We need to bring an end to the meltdown in Fiji without hurting the Fijian people.

It's complicated - and backing down is not part of the solution. Fiji knows what it has to do. Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully is on the case. As Foreign Minister, he's got his head around the issues.

But dealing with these IRB boys is no walk in the park. Thankfully McCully is a hardnosed front-rower when it comes to the dark arts of political rucks - but in the build of a first-five. 

Will Carling was talking about the English Rugby Football Union when he called them "Old Farts" but the Northern Hemisphere-centric nature of the IRB makes the moniker relevant here.
I'm looking forward to watching my mate Deacon Manu captain Fiji at the World Cup.

And on a personal note, I am a big supporter of Fiji. I've loved the "Flying Fijians" since 1987. I've been mates with the Fijian captain, Deacon Manu, for well over 20 years.

I know how proud Big Deacs is of his Fijian heritage. I know how proud Big Deacs is to be able pull on the Fijian jumper. And I will be in the crowds to cheer him on when Fiji play South Africa at the Cake Tin on September 17.

Regime's new FRU board already accused of trying to line pockets

As if the fiasco over the travel bans isn't bad enough....

It looks as though members of the clean sweep new Fiji Rugby Union board are already putting their nose in the trough.

An insider has told Coupfourpointfive that not even a month into their tenure and the board is already wanting to be paid an allowance for each sitting. 

We're told the last board was not paid such an honorarium.

A board member has also already claimed $300 for fuel to travel from Lautoka to Suva, for the first meeting, double what sources say the fuel would've cost him to get there.

Board members apparently get contra travel but this one who we choose not to name at this stage, filed an exorbitant $300 claim. 

Those previously involved with the board say this is 'absolutely criminal' considering the FRU's money woes. Remember, the regime publicly lambasted the last board for its shortcomings and accused it of corruption and fraud.

Those previously involved with the board say it's telling to see new members  'milking the seed' and thinking they're entitled to do it when the FRU is  cash-strapped.

"This seems to be the Modus Operandi of that new breed of 'elite' that seems to have infested our society of late," says a former affiliate. "Having not had any or made any fortune of their own, they have found a very easy way of going about it: rip others off."

It's understood the board, which is now heavily dominated by military and chaired by Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga, will be meeting twice a month. 

The Rugby World Cup trials are meanwhile being held today in Suva. Yesterday, FASANOC's chair, Vidhya Lakhan, called for Fiji to boycott the games in New Zealand in September. 

Many have already criticised Lakhan; today Coupfourpointfive would like to remind him that Commonwealth rules also bind Commonwealth sports participation regardless of membership. 

And he should know this. As a sports administrator he should be appreciate the importance of rules and stick to them. 

He should also remember that it was only last April that the Court of the Arbitration for Sports last April upheld the Fiji Commonwealth Games ban.

Lahkan and the National Olympic Committee had argued that politics and sport are separate, and that Fiji had a good case for appealing the decision.

At the time Lakhan said he couldn't understand why the appeal has been turned down. It seems, he still doesn't get it. Does he not understand English or is he just being deliberately obtuse?

Consultants helping the Military milk the FNPF cow

By Professor Wadan Narsey
Some one kindly sent me the presentations at the recent symposium stage-managed by the Bainimarama Regime and FNPF management - and cruelly disrupted my peaceful work in quiet law-abiding Kagoshima, Japan.

The FNPF symposium was to forewarn the public of forthcoming changes in the management, operations and pension rates of the FNPF.

The only substantial presentations were from the two Australian consultants Promontory (Stephen Mason and Shauna Tomkins) and Mercer (Richard Codron) but they probably also had a heavy input into the two presentations by the FNPF management.

The public were not given the detailed consultants’ reports, or the actuarial studies, data and associated financial projections, to back up their recommendations. 

Nor were the public given reports that explain the causes of the recent investment disasters by the FNPF Boards.

The FNPF owners were simply asked to accept, on the basis of simplistic data and graphs, the recommendations of the consultants and FNPF management, at face value.

Yet serious questions may be asked, for example, whether the Mercer calculations are correct, especially their assumption of Fiji’s future mortality patterns following Australian patterns.

Sadly, while these consultants and FNPF management talked about accountability and transparency, and the need to protect “whistleblowers” - they do not apply these same principles to themselves with their data and analysis.

In particular, the Promontory recommendations on the “Restructured Board” are a total sell-out of sound principles of accountability of the FNPF management and Board, to the real owners of the FNPF, and their restructured Board will continue the FNPF mess into the foreseeable future.

These consultants’ direct involvement in the politically inspired symposium sadly shows how supposed independent experts in their field, will prostitute their services into illegal processes being stage-managed by this illegal Military Regime.

These consultants are no doubt earning large consultancy fees - which the unaccountable FNPF Board and management will not reveal to the public, giving the lie to their claims of transparency, accountability and integrity.

These consultants’ recommendations also make sure that they will continue to milk the  FNPF cow well into the future, just like the ATH fiasco 13 years ago.

The continued lack of information
It is quite likely that the high pension returns of between 15% and 25% as a small proportion receive, are not sustainable and not “fair” to current contributors. 

But these are legal contracts between FNPF who offered and signed them with those receiving the pensions, and in case we forget, FNPF is also corporate entity bound by Fiji contract laws. 

These legal contracts cannot be changed without the consent of the pensioners. But legal contracts are not a problem for this Military Junta.

It is also likely that FNPF may have to reduce pension rates for those retiring in the future.

But by how much and why, are the tough questions on which neither the FNPF Board and management, nor the consultants are providing the data that FNPF contributors and pensioners are entitled to see.

Using the information I gave FNPF management a few weeks ago, Aisake Taito quoted me stating in Parliament in 1998, that for sustainability, the pension rates should be immediately brought down, to ensure equity between pensioners and contributors.

Taito conveniently forgot to mention that the debate in 1998 was whether to bring the  rate down from 25% to 15% immediately (which was my recommendation then although I would have lost out personally) or gradually down by 1 percentage point annually to reach 15% eventually. 

The latter was adopted largely because of pressure from older Parliamentarians, FNPF management and FNPF Board (some of whom personally benefited from the final decision).

But the current discussions are about reducing pension rates even further from 15% to 9%, in a totally different economic and political environment for the FNPF Board and the economy.

The tragedy is that the owners of the FNPF are not allowed to see the reports and the actuarial analyses behind the current consultants’ recommendations, while there are serious questions that we can ask, even on the bits of information that are available.

Is the Mercer analysis correct?
The Promontory recommendations are based on the Mercer actuarial analysis.

The Mercer presentation stated that the mortality rates they used were derived from “the 2008 Fijian population life tables prepared by the World Health Organisation”:  no big problems with that (although the Fiji Bureau of Statistics should have their own life tables).

But then the Mercer presentation states that they used “Mortality improvement based on experience of the Australian population over 25 years as reported in the current Australian Life Tables (2005-07).”

Can projections of improvements in Australian mortality be used to predict future trends in Fiji’s mortality?

Australia’s life expectancy is rising, their people are living longer, and drawing pensions for longer.

If the Australian patterns of mortality improvement did apply to Fiji, then Fiji people would also be living longer, and the sustainability of FNPF pensions may indeed require relatively lower pension rates for Fiji.

But if Fiji’s mortality falls or stagnates, then Fiji’s pensioners will die earlier not later as predicted by Australian trends, and Fiji’s pension rates would need to be relatively higher.

Fiji’s mortality patterns?
All indications are that Fiji’s mortality will not fall like Australia’s and Fiji’s life expectancy will not rise like Australia’s.

In Fiji, life expectancy for some ethnic and gender sub-groups groups actually fell between 1986 and 1996.

Demographer Dr Martin Bakker, working with the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics, concluded that  “adult mortality has actually increased somewhat during the period 1986-2001” and at best there may be a mortality stagnation, not improvement.  Dr Bakker attributed what I called this “perverse” result (“perverse” because Fiji’s GDP per capita was concurrently rising) to:

(1) possible deterioration in the delivery of health services for adults by the Department of Health;

(2) increase in non-communicable (lifestyle) diseases among the adult population;

(3) differential net migration, with successful emigrants more likely to be healthy persons than unhealthy (i.e Australia, NZ, Canada and US don’t want our “sickies” as residents).

While I am not a demographer (although I do population projections), I would suggest that these three factors will be even stronger in the future.

First, the continued losses of qualified health personnel and the stagnation of the Fiji economy and health budget, will continue to worsen the Fiji health service system.

Second, the life style diseases will worsen as people fall more into poverty and Fiji people consume more and more processed westernised foods and junk foods (as my forthcoming 2008-09 Household Income and Expenditure Survey Report  for FIBoS will reveal).

Third, the emigration of healthier persons will continue now that even qualified indigenous Fijians are emigrating in large numbers like qualified Indo-Fijians and Others, leaving behind a less intelligent political electorate of all ethnic groups, whose political and social leaders (military included) will periodically and callously destroy the economy and FNPF’s revenue streams, for their selfish ends.

Therefore, Mercer’s use of the Australian improvements in mortality to project long-term pension outflows for Fiji is not appropriate.

What would be the impact on sustainable rates of return if we made different assumptions about Fiji’s future life expectancy?  We do not know. 

Because none of the consultants (from Mercer or the Promontory) or the FNPF management, are releasing any actuarial Reports, or their detailed analysis, or any sensitivity analysis which might inform a few of us more numerate persons amongst the generally senile and apathetic pensioners of Fiji.

Despite my pleas to the Promontory consultants, they are themselves not going to be the whistleblowers (who they claim to want to protect in their proposed new legislation for FNPF).  

The real consideration for both Promontory and Mercer would be, quite understandable, why risk future juicy consultancies to help for FNPF contributors, when it is the FNPF management and the Military Regime that gives them the consultancies and pays their fees?

The Consultants’ next Board?
Possibly the most horrifying aspect of Promontory’s nasty role in this exercise is their explicit recommendations for the continued Military Regime’s total control of the FNPF Board  ie for the major borrower from the bank to continue to control the bank.

The Promontory consultants recommend a 14 person Board, with 7 appointed by the “Minister”, 1 “Government” representative (ie the Military Government will already appoint 8 out of the 14 and effectively control the Board), 4 Independents, 1 from employer groups and 1 from employee groups.

Pray, why only 1 for all the hundreds of thousands of employees who actually own the money in FNPF?  Tomkins and Mason facetiously refer to the “ILO Committee of Experts” as if this justifies the token representation for the employees.

Who will select the 4 “Independents”.  Who knows? Why can't the majority of the Board be elected by the FNPF Members?

The Tomkins and Mason presentation cynically stated “elections for Board members not practical – and too expensive”. Wow.

Here we have an FNPF which proudly boasts of being highly computerized in its financial and demographic data; all the mailing addresses of the FNPF contributors and pensioners should be known; all should have their own ID cards. If any pensioner does not show up every six months their pension stops.

It would be simple enough for all these FNPF members, over a one month period at their leizure, to go into any FNPF office throughout Fiji, and cast their votes for their own representatives to the FNPF Board - with separate representation for contributors younger than 40, those between 40 and 55 and the pensioners, to ensure all interests of FNPF owners are safeguarded; and by all means have eligibility criteria such as education, lack of criminal records etc.

But no, our expensive overseas experts saw this as too “impractical and expensive”! 

So despite seeing with their own eyes the massive financial damage that has been done to FNPF by its major borrower and controller (the Government) and the total lack of accountability of the FNPF Board and management to its real owners (the contributors and pensioners), what do our great expert consultants recommend?   More of the same.

What did FNPF pay these expensive consultants?

The rhetoric of good governance
The consultants spout heaps of rhetoric about new legislation that will ensure that the FNPF Board governs well: proper codes of conduct; strict eligibility requirements; strict grounds for removal etc; and even a great role for “prudential supervision” by the RBF.

So what is new?  Such provisions have been there and flaunted with impunity by this unelected Military Regime and its appointees, and even previous Boards appointed by elected governments, where also there were no members directly elected by FNPF contributors and pensioners.

This Military Regime has sacked Board Members and appointed whoever they wanted, with impunity.

Their new Boards have blundered and been replaced by others, equally unaccountable and non-transparent.  No one has been taken to task and no one will ever be taken to task.

What a laugh for the consultants to claim that the Reserve Bank of Fiji will have greater powers of oversight over FNPF.  They always allegedly have, and failed miserably. They even have a conflict of interest in forcing back FNPF interest earning investments to Fiji.

This Military Regime sacked a Governor of the Reserve Bank and appointed their own with impunity. They can do it again.

The real control of the FNPF Board and management will continue to be this Bainimarama Regime and their hangers on, who have treasonously removed elected governments, willy-nilly changed the judiciary, spat on constitutionality and the rule of law, abused human rights, and continue to deny our freedom of speech and assembly. 

Why would anything change at FNPF just because of new legislation by military decrees?

Consultants and illegality
Note that the presentations by the consultants themselves made no explicit recommendation to the Military Government to illegally reduce the pension rates of existing pensioners, by military decrees or otherwise.

But Tomkins and Mason state in their presentation that there will be a “Staged implementation .. some provisions commence on gazettal”.   Gazettal?  By whom? And with what legality to change contracts?

Cunningly, the expert consultants left it to the FNPF management presentations to recommend that existing pensions must be reduced. 

So expect more illegal military decrees.  Who cares about the trifling matter of the breaking of sacred contracts?

Future milking by consultants assured
The Promontory presentation by Shauna Tomkins and Stephen Mason mentions, as if in passing that a future “Board will be required to develop and offer alternative retirement income products ... subject to actuarial sign off and Reserve Bank approval .. and that the law will provide a structure for other financial institutions to offer retirement income products ... this will take some time to develop …” (ha ha ha. read: more consultancies).
They also recommend the splitting of the FNPF (notionally) into two funds - the Retirement Savings Fund and the Retirement Income Fund; there to be portions for compulsory pensions, other portions which may be taken as lump sums, or as other products, etc.  Details to be worked out (ha ha ha. read: more consultancies). 

But what a good way to earn consultancy fees by creating the illusion of two separate funds out of the same pool of FNPF money owned by the same contributors and pensioners.  Oh yeah!

There is also the Mercer discussion of “demonopolisation” to offer competition to  FNPF while pointing out the resulting “high responsibility on Government to oversee new providers to protect public” (this Government protecting the public? What a joke.)

Mercer also suggests “Offer partnerships to other institutions with proper credentials in investment, insurance, micro-finance to assist reducing FNPF dominance and development of stronger financial services industry” (ha ha ha. Read: more consultancies).

But what?  Create other institutions to reduce FNPF’s already weak powers in the small financial market where they are forced to lend at low rates of interest already?  Oh yeah!  Let us have some competition to reduce the returns to FNPF further.

All these changes, good governance, transparency, etc will be supervised by the Reserve Bank of Fiji which continues to be under the total control of a Military Regime which refuses to release Auditor General’s Reports for the last five years (which would show its theft of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars) or any report which will show the Regime’s role in the mess Fiji is currently in.

But we can all live happily ever after, because the Reserve Bank of Fiji and FNPF management will have the continued support of actuarial experts and consultants from Mercer and Promontory.

So expect more FNPF symposium charades, orchestrated by more expert foreign consultants who will, for generous consultancy fees to themselves, help this Military Regime to milk the FNPF cow further.

Tough luck, if the milk dries up for the pensioners and current contributors who own the FNPF. That is not the consultants’ problem.

To the Fiji wolves circling the FNPF cow, add another wolf - the foreign consultants to FNPF.


FNPF Management, the Military Regime, and the “Principal: Agent” problem
Readers might wish to understand the phrase “principal – agent problem” in the context of FNPF (and many other organizations).

The “Principals”: are the “owners” of the enterprise:  here the FNPF contributors and pensioners.

The “Agents”: are those charged with looking after the interests of the owners: here the FNPG management, the FNPF Board, and the Government, are the “agents”.

The “Principal : Agent” problem arises when the “agents” begin to run the organisation in their own interest rather than that of the Principal. 

This problem arises frequently in large corporations where the shareholders are too diffuse to have effective control over management.

A similar problem is at work with FNPF.  We already understand how successive Fiji governments (including this Military Regime) has used the FNPF money for its own deficit financing and other nefarious purposes.  But do not forget the interests of the FNPF management.

When I had asked FNPF management why they not abide by their commitment to transparency and accountability and release all the reports to the public, the answer from one senior manager was:  I don’t want to go and plant cassava.

But readers may wish to also keep in mind the following simple arithmetic which may partly explain the FNPF management’s enthusiasm for the changes being recommended.

In any year, there are inflows determined by the compulsory contribution rates and investment earnings.  The outflows are determined by the withdrawals and pensions paid.

Reduce the pensions paid (and the withdrawals) then you automatically increase the amount of “free cash” or liquidity within the FNPF - which should belong to the members as a reserve, but it also becomes “available” to improve the salaries and perks of the management and staff. 

But especially likely to benefit will be the salaries and perks of the senior management with fancy titles, who supposedly make the key decisions (while all the real work is done by outside consultants). Is it any wonder that the FNPF management are also very keen on the “reforms”.

So keen to get more money into the system that one of them has had the very bright idea:  why not get some deposits from school children? 

“Hey, their money will be with us to use for another forty fifty years, before they     start withdrawing.   Who cares if by that time their money will be worthless      anyway (because of the inflation caused by all the irresponsible governments we  can expect); and we won’t be here to answer to anyone. What a good scam, if only we can pull it off.  Let us hope that there are lots of gullible parents who will trust us to safeguard and invest their children’s money wisely.  We will lend lots to Frank and Aiyaz, of course, who will keep us here, away from the cassava teitei.”

Oh, yeah.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fijian statement of the misdeeds of Bainimarama!


Sa tekivu edaidai edua na vula vou sa basika vou kina edua tale nai lakolako vou ni sasaga ni toso kina kena sagai na tubu ni bula marau kei na vinaka e Viti.Sa dua dina vula dredre eda sa lakova oti ni basika kina na veika e vunitaki tu vei keda ka da qai kidacala sa kacakaca bote e matada na veika rerevaki,butobuto vaka vure cudru kei na via vakadave dra kei na vaka caca.Ni da tekivu ena veiliutaki rau vei wanonovi toka na toa ni koco Peresitedi kei Bainimarama bavulu se o cei ena lakoi tuba. Nodrau dau ni vakatagi sici o Aiyaz na vuni lawa vakailoa, dokadoka  kei na yalowai. Eda na qai raica na ka ena cakava  ena vula oqo na PM. O Ratu Epeli sa wili siga tug a oqo baleta na nona lakoi tuba sa seal taki oti tu na kenai tukutuku. O Roko Ului edua na nonai tokani voleka duadua o Baimarama ena vuaviri ni 2006 koya e kila tu vakavinaka nai  waliwali ni nona veiliutaki kaukauwa o Bainimarama ena loma ni keba, sa vocia mai vaka vudi na veika vakadomobula ka vaka risi kete,butobuto ka vakaturu wai ni mata ni da sarava ka raica ena internet ka rogoca ena retio.

Kila na cava na nodratou vesu O Laisa Digitaki. Virisila Buadromo, Jackie Koroi kei Pita Waqavonovono eratou kau mai vakakaukauwa main a nodratou dui vale ena dua na mata lala sotia levu. E ratou comolaki ena loma ni lori ka ratou luvai sulu qai vo ga nai sului loma. E ratou qai vesuki tu ena dua na rumu butobuto,vesu na ligadratou me yacova ni sa yaco mai o Koliaci Bainimarama.

Ni da wilika tiko na ka e yaco,ni tau nai saba, nai caqe, na dakai me vakadodoki kina uludratou eda qai kila ni sa dua na vanua dredre sara sa tu kina oqo na PM ni sa bikai koya tu na yaloni  moku tamata,vakadave dra,vakacaca,vakama vale, veivesu,v eivaka lolomataki, butako kei na kucu oya na nona kaliraka laivi o Bainimarama na nodra yaga na luvei Viti ni mataka, oya na nona kauta mai vaka levu na dinau me bula kina o Viti mai Jaina kei Malaysia ka kali ira dole na kawa kei Viti mera sauma na dinau ni bera mada ga ni ra rawa ka se cakacaka.

Na nona butakoca na matanitu o Bainimarama,ena vakasucuma yarayara nai tovo ni butabutako.

1.E butakoca nai tutu ni PM,nai tutu ni Minisita ni lavo kei na vuqa tale.

2. E butakoca nai tutu ni vakailesilesi ni matanitu ka vakasolia vei ira na nona  sotia me sogo ni kusudra mera tokoni koya.

3.E butakoca na qele ni matanitu kei na nodra qele na lewe ni mataqali ka solia yani vei ira na Jaina mera lease taka enai sau lailai sara.

4.E butakoca na dodonu ni tamata ka kauta mai na dakai ni mataivalu me buli lawa ka mei vakarere ni tamata.

5.E vesuki ira lo na tamata ka ra kau mera laki vaka rarawa taki kina keba.

6.E butakoca nai sau ni tamata ka saumi koya ena $745,000

7.E butakoca na nodra dodonu na dau tei dovu qai vakavuna na soqo ni qaqi ni suka FSC.

8.E butakoca na dodonu ni  dau volai tukutuku ka vakayagataka ga na Fiji Sun me lagata ga na sere ni nona lasulasu kei na nona tukuna ga na ka e via rogoca.

9.E butakoca na nodra dodonu na dau  loba sucu Rewa Dairy me veisau na kena cicivaki ka soli vei Nur Bano Ali na nei ,nei Aiyaz Khaiyumna me vakadikeva ka kenai sau e $2milioni na dola.

10.E butakoca na dodonu ni lotu Wesele me vakayaco bose ka sega ni saqata na lotu katolika kei na lotu tale eso.

11.E butakoca nai tutu vaka turaga ka kaya mera kakua ni bose mera laki gunu wainitapioke ga.

12.E butakoca nai qoliqoli ka solia na galala vei ira na vulagi mera cakacaka nodra.

13.E butakoca nai tutu ni CEO ni Fiji Sports Council ka solia vua na luvena yalewa.

14.E butakoca nai yau bula ni vanua ka soliai Jaina mera cakacaka nodra kina na vulagi ena sau lailai sara.

Na tamata dau butako e wili kina na vakayagataki ni kaukauwa ena dakai,se basu vale,se vakamakama.Na kedrai totogi bibi na curu I valei ni veivesu ka sega na suka mai se totogi kuna ena matana levu. Ni da wilika tiko na veika kece e cakava o Bainimarama eda sa qai raica na yavavala ni 2000 e dabe toka mai loma o koya, matavulo toka baleta ni sa vure tiko mai lomana na kocova nai tutu ka sega ni bunotaka. Sa dodonu me kila o Bainimarama navei yalo kece e vaka mavoa taka se ira sa vakamatea oti ena lesu mai na yalodra me kani koya ka na ologa tu na nona vakasama siga kei na bogi ka na sega ni vakacegu rawa. Ena lauti koya na sui ni mosi kana vakila na nona gacagacai loma na vuca ni sana kakasere mai vaka malua na kaukauwa ni vakatulewa ka san a vakere tu na nonai cegu me yacova ni sa soro ka kere veivosoti.

Bainimarama sa kena gauna oqo mo sereki Viti me curu galala o ira na kena kawa, kina veiliutaki malumu, savasava me ra kila na kawa vou kei Viti ni tiko na nodra nuinui.Keimami sa domo dua kai Viti taucoko, ka kosa vakaroti mo vakasukai Viti lesu tale nib era ni cava na yabaki.


Fiji stooges, fools and Mahendra Chaudhry

Miracles of miracles .... the chair of the Peoples Charter Advisory Council has announced that it has 'impressed upon' the illegal regime to fast-track the new Constitution.
At a time when the regime desperately needs proof it will  hold elections in 2014, Josefa Serulagilagi has today conveniently stepped out to pronounce the Council is totally committed to making sure Fiji goes to the polls in 2014.
Mouthing all the right words, Serulagilagi said it was important for Fiji and the international community "to get behind the 2014 timeline and make it happen".  

The regime has been on the back foot in the past fortnight with revelation after revelation, including wide belief there will be no election in 2014, catching the attention of the international media.
Today, in what could only be termed damage control, Serulagilagi loyally endorsed the integrity of the regime voicing his own great conviction the Charter and the Roadmap for Development and Democracy 2009-2014 "are very much on target".

Another who once seemed awfully convinced about a number of things is Mahendra Chaudhry, the leader of the Fiji Labour Party.
Chaudhry has done a smart about face since Roko Ului Mara came on the scene. But Coupfourpointfive remembers another Mahendra Chaudhry. See our story below:

Stop Fooling Around Mahendra Chaundry

The shameless leader of the Fiji Labour Party, Mahendra Chaudhry, is at it again. He may have have succeeded in fooling some people but not us.

On 24th May, Chaudhry told Radio Australia's Bruce Hill that Fiji should have elections in 12 to 15 months. He also said that he supported the coup with the aim of returning Fiji to democracy as soon as possible, and by April 2009, as promised to the European Union.

We are telling Chaudhry to stop lying and instead take stock of his evil deeds.

1) Mahendra Chaudhry, together with Aiyaz Khaiyum and Ratu Epeli Nailatikau went to Brussels and made the commitment that Fiji will have elections by April 2009. A few months after his return, Chaudhry, who was the miilitary regime's Finance and Sugar Minister told the people of Fiji that EU commitments are not cast in stone.

2) Chaudhry repeatedly stated that reforms under Peoples Charter should happen before elections. He described democracy as flawed.

3) In October 2007 when Frank Bainimarama gave the commitment to the Pacific Islands Leaders Forum for elections in the first quarter of 2009, Chaudhry's Labour Party, through its President Jokapeci Koroi issued a statement saying Bainimarama should not be bullied by Australia and New Zealand into holding elections.

These are just three examples that we believe are enough for the time being.

However, we also remind our readers of a letter written to Chaudhry in November 2006 by USP academics Professor Biman Prasad and Mahendra Reddy, urging Chaudhry to show leadership and oppose any attempts to remove the SDL/Labour Multi-Party Government. This letter was publicised mre than three years ago but has been forgotten, especially by Chaudhry.

The letter of 21st November 2006 warned of political and economic disaster for Fiji, the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution and even acts of violence against Indians, similar to the 2000 Coup.

The first two warnings have been proven absolutely correct. While Biman Prasad has not supported the regime, Mahendra Reddy has jumped into bed with Bainimarama and Khaiyum, and has become Chairman of the Commerce Commission, which  through its enforced policies is contributing to Fiji's economic ruin.

And despite the warnings, Mahendra Chaudhry deliberately chose to support the coup.

Read Letter to Chaudhry

Editor's Note: Mahendra Chaudhry was back in court this week over the money laundering and tax evasion charges. He's claiming the case against him is tainted and should be thrown out. He says it's been over a year and the case, much to his surprise, has been sent to a QC in Hong Kong.  Prosecutors, as we've reported before, believe Chaudhry could be accessing the frozen funds in his Australian bank account, despite a court order not to.

International community forced to put in the hard yards over Fiji rugby

DOUGHY MIX: Springbok protesters, police and players  in Hamilton in 1981 after the pitch was flour bombed.

The illegal regime's insistence members connected to the military should be allowed into New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup is causing unnecessary grief.

New Zealand reiterated yesterday any management or players connected to the military won't be allowed in.

But the chair of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee president, Vidhya Lakhan (pictured top right), has decided to go one better and call on the FRU to boycott the tournament if New Zealand sticks to its decision.

The voice of reason is coming through, though. The Fiji Times is quoting former Fiji Rugby Union chairman Bill Gavoka (pictured) as warning against such a boycott.

Gavoka is quoted as saying Fiji could be treated like the South African Springboks, who were left out in the cold during the era of apartheid if the International Rugby Board decided to sideline Fiji.

He says the IRB helped fund four years of preparation and "hard work and investments would be wasted in the drain if Fiji decides to bypass the high-profile tournament".

"The idea of boycotting the world cup is quite silly," says Gavoka. He says with 118 countries playing rugby under the guidance of the IRB, a boycott "will only invite derision and get us nowhere".

"Preparing the world cup event takes four years and costs hundreds of millions of dollars; how do you think IRB will view a boycott? Would they want to have a relationship with a country that reneges on its undertaking? It's not as if the boycott by NZ came up only yesterday, it's been there for years."

Gavoka says Fiji knew about the restrictions, yet still wanted to be part of the event. He said Fiji could still field a top-class team with players who qualify for New Zealand visas.

"Let's take it on the chin and go to the world cup. Rugby is too important for us."

The IRB has been trying to tread carefully on the issue but it's unlikely it'll emerge with a win/win situation.

The Business Review paper in New Zealand is quoting the IRB chief executive, Mike Miller, as hoping for the best.
"If people can talk quietly behind the scenes then often things which some people think can't be resolved, can be resolved. But talking about it in public really doesn't help," he told Radio New Zealand.

"I am confident that Fiji will come to Rugby World Cup, I am confident that all the matches will take place in New Zealand, and I am confident that Fiji will equip themselves very well in this Rugby World Cup.

"They've been playing very well and they will have a very good team in New Zealand."

Miller says he won't make assumptions about whether Fiji would have to send a second-rate team to the tournament. "We'll just have to wait and see what team turns up when the Rugby World Cup begins." 

As some Coupfourpointfive bloggers have already said, it's management who'll be affected by the ban not players. So the FRU (Bainimarama and Tikoitonga and co) should do right by Fiji rugby and back off. Or is their plan to make this a Melanesian Spearhead Group Rugby World Cup? Now, that would be that be ridiculous.

Senior officer in Bainimarama regime: 'We all hate the dictator'

"We all hate the Dictator, we despise him and his little stupid puppet and all they stand for. We are all military men, but that means we know right from wrong. Like a super-virus the dissent will spread. Col Mara has taken the first step for others to follow."

That's the revelation of a senior officer in the illegal military government of Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum and it comes as the regime struggles to fool the world it's on top of everything.

We can assure readers that our highly-placed officer, who we will call The PS Who Well Knows The Puppet and Taliban Puppet Master, is in a position to talk about Bainikhaiyum and reveal how much they're hated. 

We will divulge more inside information in time but can say now that the words of our disgruntled  senior officer shows how much Bainimarama has alienated the men who helped him carry out the illegal coup in 2006.

Our inner sanctum source says he and fellow senior officers stopped supporting the RFMF Commander and the illegal Prime Minister some time ago, because he sold them and the 2006 cause out.

The PS Who Well Knows The Puppet and Taliban Puppet Master, says the campaign now is "to be rid of the drunk puppet and the puppet master Taliban at any cost." 

He says Roko Ului Mara is taking the lead and carrying out what he described to Coupfourpointfive as "the greatest risk he could take" to show officers the way to go. 

And in the most revealing of words, The PS Who Well Knows The Puppet and Taliban Puppet Master, said this: "Betrayal is the only truth that sticks."

Editor's Note: The regime yesterday extended its arrest warrant for Roko Ului Mara to August 3. Also in the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday, the lawyer for Pita Driti asked for full disclosure as prosecutors tried to move the case to the High Court. Prosecutors have been given two weeks to file the disclosure.